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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Culture notes: Elevate public art schedule; changes at KSU arts; Jennifer Schwartz pop up photo exhibit

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Having elevated the Underground Atlanta area with temporary public art last year, the city of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs returns with its second Elevate series later this month across a broader swath of downtown.

The contemporary art series rolls Oct. 19-27. All events are free and open to the public.

Elevate 2012 highlights include:

  • 8-11 p.m. Oct. 19: Unveiling of “Banho de Luz,” a mixed-media installation and interactive video featuring the art of Lillian Blades, Linda Costa and Roni Nicole Henderson., at the Carnegie Education Pavilion in Hardy Ivy Park, Peachtree and Baker streets. A LED light-studded, quilted drapery will envelop the pavilion, with projected images creating a “light painting.” With music by Yamin Semali.
  • Noon-2 p.m. Oct. 20: Elevate Downtown 5K Run/Walk and Artwork Tour, featuring prints by Jessica Caldas and large-scale sculpture by Randy Walker and Adrian Barzaga. Tours conducted by the civic group Back On My Feet begin and end at the Trinity House-Big Bethel, 21 Bell St. N.E.
  • Noon-2 p.m. Oct. 22-26: Elevate Walking Art Tours, led by the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Program, take in temporary and permanent public art. Begins at Peachtree Center Plaza Courtyard.
  • 7-10 p.m. Oct. 24: “The Imaginary Million” gala will feature the artwork of 100 metro artists on display in the atrium of the 200 Peachtree building (formerly Macy’s). Each of the artists will bid on the work of his/her peers with $10,000 in play money. At the end of the evening hosted by Hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Kennesaw State University and WonderRoot, artists will take home the work they’ve won.
  • 6-8 p.m. Oct. 25: The Elevate Evening Walking Art Tour, led by the city’s Public Art Program, begins at the Peachtree Center Plaza Courtyard and concludes at the Carnegie Education Pavilion for the second presentation of the “Banho de Luz” light painting (8-11 p.m.).
  • Noon-6 p.m. Oct. 26: South Broad Street mural paintings — by graffiti artists including Atlantans Hense, Sever and Born and Push of Los Angeles — will be created before your eyes along the 100 block of South Broad (near its intersection with Mitchell Street).
  • 4-8 p.m. Oct. 27: Elevate South Broad Festival, a street party, will take over the road in view of the new building facade murals. French choreographer Pierre Rigal and his hip-hop dance troupe will perform, as will the Atlanta Music Project. Food trucks and vendors will sell their wares.

More info: www.facebook.com/#!/atlantapublicart, www.ocaatlanta.com/elevateatlanta.

ARTS
Kennesaw State’s changing culture

Kennesaw State University’s recent fifth annual Flourish Awards luncheon at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center was intended to honor a small group of metro arts leaders while raising more than $100,000 toward scholarships and student-learning initiatives in KSU’s College of the Arts. But it also turned into something of a “This Is Your Life” tribute to arts college dean Joseph Meeks, who announced as the school year began that he will retire next February.

Meeks, who has served 14 years as the arts college’s founding dean and 34 years overall on the faculty, is a large figure on the KSU campus. A battery of arts facilities have been built on his watch, including the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center and the Audrey B. and Jack E. Morgan Sr. Concert Hall. Just last month, KSU broke ground on the Bernard A. Zuckerman Museum of Art.

In his remarks, KSU president Daniel Papp called Meeks a “visionary leader” and a “true workhorse.” After a video tribute from school leaders and arts college faculty, staff and students, Meeks choked up and had to pause momentarily several times to regroup during his own talk.

The university has announced that Department of Dance chairman Ivan Pulinkala will serve as interim arts dean until a permanent replacement for Meeks is selected through a national search. The new leader is expected by next summer.

Pulinkala himself is a man in constant motion. In addition to running the newly named dance department, where 14 full and part-time faculty educate 100 majors, he’s an associate professor who teaches an array of dance classes. Meanwhile, he is pursuing his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Alabama.

He also is a choreographer with a growing résumé. The Kennesaw State University Dance Company performed Pulinkala’s “Rhizome” during the American College Dance Festival Association’s National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington this summer, the third successive festival where it has featured one of his works. “Rhizome” had been performed in Atlanta in January during the “Off the Edge” dance presentation at the Rialto Center for the Arts, where the KSU dancers shared the stage with top international and national professionals.

The Flourish Awards luncheon honored former Atlanta Opera general director Dennis Hanthorn (arts leader category), Lassiter High School director of bands Alfred L. Watkins (arts educator), retired Cobb County art educator Pam Carsillo (community service) and the Center for Puppetry Arts (arts organization).

More on the KSU College of the Arts: www.kennesaw.edu/arts.

VISUAL ARTS
Hip-hop photo show, one night only

The Jennifer Schwartz Gallery exited its large Westside facility this summer, but the photography gallery remains very much in business, with plans to present exhibits at its smaller new space at 675 Drewry St., Suite 6, and additional sites in Atlanta and other cities. For instance, the gallery presented a show at a Greenwich Village barbershop in September.

Another is planned 7-10 p.m. Wednesday, when it opens Michael Schmelling’s “Atlanta: Hip-Hop and the South,” photos taken from 2007 to 2009, for one night only at Space2 at the Sound Table, 483 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. There will be cocktails, small bites and music by DJ Apple Jac. Free. 404-885-1080, www.jenniferschwartzgallery.com.

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